PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The No. 14 Bucknell men's water polo team wrapped up the Bruno Classic by squaring off against No. 7 Pepperdine and No. 16 California Baptist.
The Bison were edged, 14-13, by the Lancers in an afternoon game featuring multiple momentum swings.
After California Baptist raced out to a 4-0 lead, Bucknell scored the next five goals to enter the first intermission with a 5-4 advantage. During that 5-0 run, Rade Joksimovic netted a pair of goals while Marko Djordjevic, Cooper Dolan and Jared Stanley also found the back of the cage.
The teams each scored two goals in the second quarter. The third frame proved to be the difference in the game, as the Lancers outscored the Bison, 6-4. California Baptist opened that quarter with a 5-0 run, and, while the Bison regrouped with a 4-0 run of their own, they would not draw even again.
California Baptist was paced offensively by Dominick Nevarez (5g-1a) while Jonny Lotero (3g-1a) and Caleb Rogers (2g-2a) also had four-point outings. Matt Miller made 10 saves in net for the Lancers.
Bucknell held a 35-30 advantage in shots but went 1-for-7 on its power-play opportunities.
In the morning game against the Waves, the Bison fell by a 15-9 margin. Joksimovic (3), Dolan (2) and Jeff Hagen (2) each had multi-goal efforts, but Bucknell could not overcome Pepperdine's balanced offensive attack.
The Waves raced out to an early 5-0 lead, but the Bison used a 6-3 run to draw within two, at 8-6. That was as close as they would come; Pepperdine scored seven of the game's final 10 goals to move to 3-0 on the season.
Dolan had a strong showing at the Bruno Classic, finishing with 11 goals in four games. On Saturday, he led Bucknell to a 12-11 victory over No. 19 St. Francis Brooklyn with an eight-point (7g-1a) performance.
The Bison (1-3) return to action next weekend when they compete at the Princeton Invitational. They are set to face UCLA (Sept. 9, 7:30 a.m.), St. Francis Brooklyn (Sept. 9, 8 p.m.) and Harvard (Sept. 10, 10 a.m.).